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Have You Heard of Xylitol? The Facts You Need to Know…

Have you heard of xylitol?  A naturally occurring sugar that is then processed–typically from birch trees and corn cobs–xylitol has gained popularity as a sugar substitute and potential dental hygiene game changer.  If you’re grasping to understand how anything sweet can improve your oral health and shocked that our staff is talking about it, we’re here to give you the facts you need to know…

Most people don’t realize that cavities are the result of the particular oral bacteria that live in your mouth.  When this particular bacteria feeds on the sugar you eat, acidic by-products contribute to tooth enamel erosion, plaque production, gum disease, cavities, and eventual tooth loss.  So how does a sugar such as xylitol prevent cavities?

  • Xylitol is indigestible to bacteria, which reduces the number of bacteria and decreases the occurrence of cavities.
  • Xylitol makes pH less acidic, creating an alkaline oral environment, which limits the growth of bacteria.
  • Xylitol induces a higher rate of saliva and higher calcium levels in saliva, which contributes to the protection of enamel.

You can find xylitol in products such as gum, mints, and candies, and it is also processed into a granular form that can be used to replace refined sugar.  While is it contains 40% fewer calories that sugar, it is not completely sugar-free and can sometimes cause gastrointestinal issues.

Caring for your family’s oral health involves educating yourself on trending topics, prioritizing regular visits to your dentist, promoting a healthy diet, and maintaining a routine of brushing and flossing.  What we can say with certainty is that your dentist and hygiene team are always here to help!

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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical care.  Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Say “See Ya” to Traditional Impressions

Say “see ya” to traditional impressions 🙂! For most cases we are able to take #digital impressions, which is a much more…

Posted by Edward Feins D.M.D. on Friday, August 17, 2018

“10 New Teeth, All in a Row: What It’s Actually Like to Get Veneers”

Check out one woman’s experience having veneers placed.  As she states, “Did my teeth make me uncomfortable? Yes…Do I have a genetic disposition to cavities, discoloration, all manner of dental issues? Yes. Did I decide it was okay to want to change something that bothered me? Yes. Choice is power!”

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Smile Gallery: Bleaching & Two Veneers

This lovely patient was unhappy with her “wavy” front teeth.  She previously had bonding by several different dentists, but it always popped right off!  Bleaching and two veneers perfected her smile!

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“Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?”

Now that school is out for summer, it’s wisdom tooth season!  What are commonly know as wisdom teeth are actually a third set of molars that typically begin to erupt in the latter teen years.  Did you know that while most people have four wisdom teeth, many patients may have none or more than four?!  Many professionals consider wisdom teeth vestigial organs.  Here is an interesting explanation why:

“One theory lies in the mouths of our ancestors. Early humans needed an extra row of teeth to chew their food: a diet of uncooked, hard items like roots, nuts, and meat. “I’m not an expert on anthropology, but clearly the need for and utility of wisdom teeth in the past exceeds that of the need of today,” says Dr. Rafetto.

Although it’s uncommon, some people born today never develop wisdom teeth. Why? It’s likely because of the size reduction in our jaw and face over the past 20,000 years, says John Hawks, PhD, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and an expert in human evolution. He adds that lack of wisdom teeth is more common in agricultural populations than in hunter-gatherers (like Aboriginal Australians) today.”

Read more here.   Our doctors are happy to answer any questions about wisdom teeth!

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